Two Sinn Féin TDs reject link to Brian Stack murder

Fine Gael TD alleges Dessie Ellis and Martin Ferris withheld information related to killing

Following a personal statement made by Gerry Adams in the Dáil regarding the murder of prison officer Brian Stack, Fine Gael TD Alan Farrell names two Sinn Féin TDs alleged to have withheld information about the killing. Video: Oireachtas TV

 

Two senior Sinn Féin figures have been linked in the Dáil to the murder of prison officer Brian Stack in 1983.

Dublin North-West TD Dessie Ellis and Kerry TD Martin Ferris were named in the House as having information in connection with the killing.

There were angry scenes after Fine Gael TD Alan Farrell used Dáil privilege to cite the two individuals.

The exchanges arose after Mr Adams was given speaking time to address issues related to Mr Stack’s murder. He told the Dáil he had received the names of four individuals from the Stack family in 2013.

He said he forwarded this information to gardaí in February this year after Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin made allegations during the general election campaign.

Mr Adams said he did not list the four people as suspects but sent the information to remove “any uncertainty or ambiguity”.

“I made it clear to the Garda Commissioner that I have no information on the death of Brian Stack . . . There is a live Garda investigation. I am prepared to co-operate with this.”

Mr Stack’s sons Austin and Oliver were present for Mr Adams’s statement and met him in a corridor of Leinster House after he spoke. Austin Stack later said he told Mr Adams he was a liar. He said Mr Adams told “untruth after untruth” in the chamber and insisted he never gave any names to him.

Both Sinn Féin TDs named by Mr Farrell denied in the Dáil they had any role in the murder. Mr Ellis said he was in prison at the time. Mr Ferris said he met gardaí in 2013 and had nothing to answer for in relation to the killing.

Mr Ferris was twice jailed for membership of the IRA and served 10 years for importing arms and ammunition on the fishing vessel Marita Ann in 1984. Mr Ellis served eight years in prison after gardaí found explosives and bomb-making equipment under his bed in 1981.